Critic’s Choice

Wed Feb 18, 2015 at 12:25 pm

Charles Ives

The publicity material for this Saturday’s Carnegie Hall concert from Trinity Wall Street use the word “massive,” which is arguably an understatement. The combined forces of Trinity’s NOVUS NY new music orchestra, and the choirs of Trinity Wall Street, Trinity Youth Chorus, the Washington Chorus, and the Washington National Choir of Boys and Girls, all conducted by Julian Wachner, will deliver the Symphony No. 4 of Charles Ives, and Alberto Ginastera’s Turbae ad passionem gregorianam, two works that are enormous in size and in aesthetic scope.

Ginastera’s magnum opus, from 1974, is a Passion setting. It received its American premiere in 1975 and has rarely been performed since, in part because it requires hundreds of musicians. There are no recordings of the piece, so this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance. Ives’ Symphony is played more often, but not often enough. Complex, mercurial, and a culmination of Ives’ musical and social philosophies, the piece is alternately haunting, challenging and marvelous.

The Big Concert is 8 p.m. Saturday at Carnegie Hall.


Saturday may be the finest night for modern music for all of 2015. Two other concerts that are more modest in size but no less ambitious are the Theatre of Voices singing Stockhausen’s Stimmung in Zankel Hall, at 7:30 p.m., and singer Jane Sheldon, flutist Roberta Michel, and pianist Isabelle O’Connell playing music by Beat Furrer, David Lang, Claude Vivier, and more, at Spectrum, 7:30 p.m.

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